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Antique Ceramic & Porcelain Tureens

Antique Ceramic and Porcelain Tureens

Named after the French earthenware dish called a "terrine," tureens are large serving dishes to hold soup, gravy, sauce, or stew. Tureens can be elegantly simple or give the potter an excuse to add plenty of design elements. Dont be surprised to see a soup tureen mimicking a bunch of asparagus, a head of cabbage, or a brooding hen.

What kind of tureens are there?

Styles include the following and more:

  • Flow blue: This was a specialty of English potters during the early part of the 19th century. The way the blue glaze added to the soup tureen flowed or blurred in a pleasing way is where the name came from.
  • Chinese Export: This porcelain of great variety was made to be shipped to Europe and America. Much of it was blue and white, which inspired English and American potters.
  • Sevr_s: These porcelains have been made in Sevr_s, France, since the middle of the 18th century. Theyre among the most prized porcelains in Europe. Theyre often richly ornamented and colored and feature nature scenes.
  • Staffordshire: Staffordshire is an area in England thats rich in clay. Staffordshire pottery varies greatly in style. They can be earthy and practical or beautifully crafted works of art.
  • Blue Willow: This is a popular Chinese inspired pattern that features a willow tree and other characters in a story of forbidden love.
  • Faience: This is colorful pottery with a glaze of tin. Though the name is French, faience ware was invented in Italy.
  • Old Paris: Also called Vieux Paris, this type of porcelain was made in Paris from around the mid-1700s to around 1870.
  • Meissen: Meissen is considered the first hard-paste porcelain made in Europe and is known for the delicacy of its patterns. Hard-paste porcelain is fired at higher temperatures than soft paste porcelain and is water-tight.

Tureens also come as figurines that look like plants or animals.

What types of materials are tureens made of?

These dishes can be made from any of the following types of materials and more.

  • Pearlware: This type of earthenware has a glaze of white with a bit of blue in it that imitates some Chinese porcelain.
  • Creamware: As the name suggests, this refers to cream-colored dishes with a lead glaze.
  • Ironstone: This ceramic contains no iron. The name is because of its toughness. It has a glossy look similar to porcelain but is less expensive and easier to mass produce.
  • Porcelain: This is a vitreous ceramic fired at high temperatures to make it glossy and nonporous.
  • Transferware: This is an inexpensive and simple technique to decorate tureens. The image is first impressed on paper from an engraved metal plate that has been coated with the desired colors. The image is then transferred from the paper to the pottery. The images on the tureens are often of pastoral scenes.
  • Silver: Tureen collections made of silver or other metals are somewhat rare and highly prized.

Tureen bowls are sometimes also decorated with gold trim. Some come with their own trays and ladles. Knobs and handles are often fanciful and can resemble seashells, flowers, vines, leaves, and real or imagined beasts.